Commonly used as the surname for Simon (Acts 8: 9–24) and meaning ‘magician’. He was rebuked by Peter for wanting to buy spiritual power—hence the English word ‘simony’. This Simon seems to have been regarded as a prophet by certain Samaritans and may have been taken on as patron by a Gnostic sect in the 2nd–3rd cents., according to Justin Martyr (c. 150 CE).